FORT WORTH (CBSNewsTexas.com) - Republican State Representative Charlie Geren of Fort Worth told CBS News Texas he's not happy the Republican-dominated Senate acquitted Attorney General Ken Paxton of the impeachment articles.
"I don't agree with the Senate's verdict, but I have to live with it," said Geren.
Geren said he believed the testimony from Paxton's former top deputies who accused him of abusing the power of his office.
The veteran lawmaker also criticized Paxton's decision not to tell his side of the story at his impeachment trial.
"He had the opportunity to testify at his own trial," said Geren. "He chose not to be at the trial. Not to be there. And all along, he said he wanted to tell his side of the story. He had that opportunity, he never took it."
When asked if that bothered him Geren said, "It bothers me that he decided that he didn't need to tell his side of the story after he'd been railing about that the entire time."
Geren was one of the House Impeachment Managers and one of the lawmakers who initially oversaw the investigation into Paxton.
As part of his duties, Geren was among those who laid out the case to House members Memorial Day weekend and made this accusation against the Attorney General:
"I would like to point out that several members of this House while on the floor of this House doing state business received telephone calls from General Paxton personally threatening them with political consequences in their next election."
Geren recounted the moment Tuesday afternoon during our interview.
"Well, it took me by surprise," he said. "I was angry. I think he really overstepped his bounds, and I believe threatening witnesses, threatening people before their vote is against the law."
After the verdicts Saturday, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who presided over the trial, criticized the House leadership for the way they conducted their investigation into Paxton.
"The Speaker and his team rammed through the first impeachment of a statewide official in Texas in over 100 years while paying no attention to the precedent that the House set in every other impeachment before," Patrick said Saturday.
Geren responded, "I think his comments are going to make it more difficult for the House and Senate to work together in special sessions going forward. The Lt. Governor is entitled to his opinion as I am, and I believe the House acts like a grand jury and not all grand jury testimony is under oath. I don't believe that we made an improper decision."
No word yet on what impact the friction between the Lt. Governor and House Speaker may have on the third special session Governor Abbott says he will call next month.
It will include school choice, which failed to pass in the House during the regular legislative session.
"It's early," Geren said. "I haven't talked to anybody about that since the verdict came down on Saturday."
Watch the full interview below:
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